By Nicholas Peralta
Former Riverside City College track and field star Chris Benard placed sixth in the triple jump at the Track & Field World Championships in London on August 10.
Bernard achieved a qualification mark of 17.2m and followed with a final result of 17.16m to earn him a top ten spot in the world rankings, one of only three Americans to do so this year.
Since becoming a professional, this is the highest honor Benard has garnered. The former Tiger had also made a significant jump in progress over the course of his five-year professional career by improving nearly a meter from his professional and official best.
The U.S’s athletes collected a total of 30 medals, including 10 gold, topping the overall 11 medals earned by second-place Kenya. In 2016, the U.S. had only placed as high as ninth place winning less than half the medals collected this year.
Benard, who graduated from RCC in 2010, amassed a handful of accolades including winning the long jump and triple jump titles at the 2010 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Championships. He was also a part of the 2009 and 2010 CCCAA state championship teams.
After competing well for RCC, Benard went on to compete for Arizona State University. He competed three times at the NCAA level, coming 19th in his debut at the 2011 NCAA men’s division Track and Field Championships, then taking the runner-up spot at the 2012 NCAA Men’s Division I Track and Field Championships.
The U.S finished back-to-back on the podium in the triple jump with Christian Taylor and Will Claye finishing with gold and silver respectfully. Nelson Evora of Portugal would capture the bronze.